Five-Jang organs keep Jung-Qi and five Spirits and respond to nature, playing the pivotal role in maintaining life. Six-Bu organs, existing between Five-Jang organs and Meridians, receive nutrients and generate Qi, Blood and body fluids and thus provide the basis of physical activity. Meridians, controlled by Jung-Qi and five Spirits in the Five-Jang organs, nourish the body by the Yin-Yang movement, and generate Jung-Qi by exchanging Qi from outside. The fact that Jang-Bu organs and the Meridians are closely related and interchangeable raises the difficulty of dividing their individual characteristics. The pathological signs of the Jang-Bu organs and the Meridians are mingled and inseparable. The author finds it necessary to clearly distinguish between the Jang-Bu disease and the Meridian disease through pattern identification. The current study made a distinction on terminal signs, pathogens, disease, patterns, diagnosis, and treatment, based on ≪The Royal Emperor: Nei Jing≫
1. Terminal signs: Although ≪Nei Jing≫ separates the terminal signs of five Jang organs from those of 12 Meridians, in a strict sense, they are not different. In an either case, the depletion of Jung-Qi in the five Jang organs ultimately causes death. Not the capacity of propelling Qi and blood but the presence of Jung-Qi is critical.
2. Pathogens: ≪Nei Jing≫ explains them in two forms or three forms. In the former case, pathogens arise from outside or inside. The endogeous pathogens are the seven emotions, assailing the Jang-Bu organs, while the exogenous factors are the six environmental excesses, invading the Meridians or the external body. However, it is possible for the exogenous pathogens to penetrate into the Jang and Bu organs depending on their strength or route. In the latter case, pathogens are divided into Heaven's Evil-Qi, Earth's Dampness-Qi, and Nutrients' Cold and Heat. Heaven's Evil-Qi weakens the five Jang organs; Earth's Dampness-Qi weakens the body shape; and Nutrients' Cold and Heat weakens the six Bu organs. Five Jang organs and six Bu organs are influenced by the seven emotions and nutrients, both of which are referred to as 'endogenous', and on the other hand, Meridians and the body shape are damaged by six environmental excesses or trauma, both of which are referred to as 'exogenous'.
3. The Jang-Bu disease patterns display the excess or deficiency of the five Jang-Qi, the balance of the five Phase movement, and the transformation of nutrients. Occasionally they are mixed with the disorder related to the flow of Meridians. The Meridian disease patterns are characterized by signs occurring to the flow route on the body surface. Likewise, the Meridian disease shows signs relating to the anatomical sites or functions of the Jang-Bu organs. In comparison, the Jang-Bu disease patterns always include signs of the Meridians and body shape, but not necessarily do the Meridian diseases accompany organ related signs. Both the patterns have signs of the flow of Meridians, but in their depth and degree, those of Meridian disease are mild and superficial, thus making them unnoticed on pulse palpation. In addition, the sites of signs and symptoms as shown in the Meridian disease, are difficult to locate and move throughout the body, coming and going.
4. A diagnosis of Jang-Bu disease described in ≪Nei Jing≫ is made by pulse examination and visual examination, and that of Meridian disease by palpation of pulse and the site of Meridian. Five Colors provide valuable information on the Jang-Bu disease, directly reflecting the Jung-Qi of five Jang organs and five Spirits. However, colors in the Rak Meridians indicating the state of Qi and Blood, are associated with the Meridian disease. In terms of pulse examination, Four Season pulses, Five Jang pulses, and palpitation of the Chon-Gwan-Chuk are used in diagnosing Jang-Bu disease; palpitation of the In-Young and Qi-Goo is applied in determining Meridian disease.
5. The main treatments explained in ≪Nei Jing≫ are acupuncture and moxibustion. Generally the Jang-Bu disease is treated with specific points such as Five Soo points, Twelve Won points, and Back Soo points. The Meridian disease is treated with points along the meridians where the disease occurs.
Although the Jang-Bu disease and the Meridian disease are inter-related and inseparable, more accurate diagnosis can only be made by strict analysis. In clinical settings, careful attention should be paid to the cause and relevant signs of disease, producing appropriate treatment and expected results.